3 to read: Fake news dies hard | Do we still need Jezebel? | People trust ‘my’ news — not yours

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

May 30, 2017: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.

  1. Fake news dies hard. We need a bigger algorithm: The Seth Rich “conspiracy” story showed that stamping out even the most ridiculous memes can be incredibly difficult. Maybe it’s because the alt-right formula is so simple and effective: Mix a few tangled facts with lies and distortions and push that mess through an empty mouthpiece (that’s you, Sean Hannity). Interesting piece by the NYT’s Jim Rutenberg.

2. Jezebel changed women’s media forever. Does it still have a reason to exist?: Happy 10th birthday, Jezebel. Your numbers are good and you changed the course of women’s media. Now everyone’s caught up. What’s next? Good story By Jordan Michael Smith for The Guardian on a revolutionary site that is not so revolutionary any more.

3. People trust ‘my’ news — just not ‘the’ news: Trust in media has been declining for years. But a more nuanced examination of people’s attitudes shows some reason for optimism. When people dislike media, they don’t mean their media — they mean your media. Report by American Press Institute.

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Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.

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3 to read: What toppled O’Reilly | Great reporting = profits | The alt-right media’s battle plan

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

May 23, 2017: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.

  1. What toppled Bill O’Reilly?: A fascinating breakdown of the reporting work that toppled one of the most powerful TV personalities in the country. Basically it came down to the steady, friendly persistence of NYT reporter Emily Steel and the guts of Emily Walsh, who stood up and detailed how O’Reilly had propositioned her. A wonderful read by Yardena Schwartz for CJR.

2. Great investigative reporting = growing subscriptions: Marty Baron of the Washington Post talks about the importance of investigative reporting, long-term thinking, experimentation, and his relationship with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who owns the paper. Interesting insight from the guy running one of the most innovative and hard-hitting news organizations in the country. By Alexandra Steigrad at WWD.

3. How the pro-Trump media responds to a crisis in just 4 easy steps: Ever notice how a straightforward story can be twisted beyond all recognition in the alt-right media? To the point where you say, “What the hell…” Charlie Warzel of BuzzFeed breaks down how the alt-right media can take any story and flip it on its head, so that it makes a sort of sense. But only for people standing on their heads.

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Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.

3 to read: Yes, defend Assange | Hollywood scorns NYT | Subscriptions can save local news

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

May 16, 2017: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.

  1. Defend a free press: Hold your nose & stand up for Julian Assange: Let’s face it, Wikileak’s Julian Assange is not a likeable guy: He’s an accused rapist who helped Donald Trump get elected by working with Russian agents. So the US has said prosecuting Assange is a priority. Anything wrong with that prosecution? Well, yes there is, argues the Washington Post’s Margaret Sullivan. Going after Assange could be Trump’s sly way of attacking a free and independent media. After all, Assange does what the NYT and WaPo do all the time — publish secret government information. A great, counterintuitive read.

2. Hell hath no fury like the NYT scorned (by Hollywood): The Times and WaPo in recent years have renewed their decades-long news battles, which is one reason why this story is so fun. What’s happened is that Hollywood plans to make a story about the breaking of the “Pentagon Papers,” which in the 1970s exposed the secret history of the Vietnam war. The papers were first published by the NYT. So the movie of course is all about … The Post. It’s even called “The Post,” and will star A-listers Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. Old timers at the NYT are not amused… at all. A wonderfully fun read, by Thomas Vinciguerra for CJR.

3. Subscriptions are the savior of the local news: Local newsrooms need to build their revenue models around paying subscribers, not advertising, writes Ben Thompson in Stratechery. Most newsrooms have built their revenue models on advertising, but that’s obsolete thinking. What readers really want is quality information they care about. So supply that — and charge for it.

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Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.

3 to read: Alex Jones *is* the conspiracy | Zuckerborg vs the world | What the press thinks about Trump

By Matt Carroll <@MattCData>

May 9, 2017: Cool stuff about journalism, once a week. Get notified via email? Subscribe: 3toread (at) gmail.

  1. Alex Jones *is* the conspiracy: Alex Jones burst from out from under the alt right’s big slimy rock and into mainstream consciousness when President Trump appeared on the conspiracy maven’s talk show. What drives this Infowars powerhouse, who blames 9/11, Sandy Hook, and the Boston Marathon murders on government conspiracies? BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel peels back the lid on the motormouth in this profile.
  2. Zuckerberg & Facebook wrestle with how to save the world (they may be wrecking): Alarm bells are ringing inside Facebook, as complaints arise outside and inside the company about its outsized role in influencing the country through its promotion of news, fake or not. What’s not clear is how loud the alarms are or who is listening. The NYT Magazine’s Farhad Manjoo paints a portrait of founder Mark Zuckerborg at least beginning to confront some of the issues that have long been voiced by critics. Interesting.
  3. What the White House press corps *really* thinks about Trump: The president has turned attacks on the press into a minor art form, which makes this survey of what White House reporters think about the commander-in-chief so fascinating. If you’re interested in a peek behind the press curtain at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., you’ll love this. One surprise: One third don’t think he’s the the most anti-press president in history. By Politico Magazine, with wonderful graphics.
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  • 3 to read logo by Leigh Carroll (Instagram: @leighzaah)

Matt Carroll is a journalism professor at Northeastern University.